Tainted bag BJP tickets

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

The BJP’s sec­ond list in Kar­nataka gives a clear in­di­ca­tion that the party has lost its high moral ground.

The youngest among the in­fa­mous Bel­lary min­ing ‘mafia barons’ – the Bel­lary Reddy brothers -- has got the ticket from Bel­lary City. He was in jail for al­legedly try­ing to bribe a spe­cial CBI court judge for his el­der brother’s bail. And this de­spite na­tional pres­i­dent Amit Shah pub­licly dis­own­ing the Bel­lary brothers, re­ports CNN IBN.

Like­wise, for­mer Kar­nataka min­is­ter Har­tal Halappa was re­cently ac­quit­ted in a rape case. The Shivamogga court gave a clean chit to the B S Yed­dyu­rappa loy­al­ist in a 2010 sex­ual as­sault case.

Sim­i­larly, for­mer min­is­ter K Setty was an ac­cused (with Yed­dyu­rappa) in an al­leged land scam. Setty, who was a part of the Yed­dyu­rappa cab­i­net till 2010, had to quit for his al­leged in­volve­ment in land deals and a hous­ing scam. He was later im­pris­oned for a few days, along with Yed­dyu­rappa.

Ap­par­ently, most nom­i­nees in the sec­ond list are Yed­dyu­rappa cronies – their loy­alty to BSY car­ries greater premium than their track record. Among these are at least four tainted MLAs who went to jail dur­ing the BJP regime. Ap­par­ently, their abil­ity to win a seat was the de­ter­min­ing fac­tor in the high­stake bat­tle.

Three de­fec­tors also fig­ure in the list. By not giv­ing tickets to Chris­tians or Mus­lims, the BJP seems to be repli­cat­ing its Ut­tar Pradesh strat­egy. Like UP, Kar­nataka has a sig­nif­i­cant sprin­kling of Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion, but the BJP, in its own wis­dom, has not named a sin­gle can­di­date from the com­mu­nity so far. Ap­par­ently, this will lead to a con­sol­i­da­tion of Hindu vote, feel party man­darins.

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